Can you believe that it has been almost four decades since the iconic M*A*S*H finale aired on television? The series finale aired on Feb. 28, 1983, on CBS. A record-breaking number of people tuned in to watch it live and many shed a tear. Over 106 million people watched the 4077th say goodbye to Korea.
The episode remains the most-watched scripted television episode of all time. In 38 years, no other scripted show has surpassed it. Alan Alda (Hawkeye) talked about the special finale. He not only starred in it but co-wrote and directed the episode.
‘M*A*S*H’ finale remains the most-watched episode ever
Alan shared, “I wanted to send everybody home having been wounded in some way by the war. [The finale] emphasized the seriousness of what Hawkeye had been through.” Even though the show creators knew they had a great episode, they had no idea how big of an audience it would have.
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Executive producer Burt Metcalfe said, “In New York, the only people making money that night was pizza delivery. According to the utility commission, when the show ended, there was an enormous drop in the water pressure because people were flushing their toilets at the same time. The sheer weight of it totally surprised us.” Basically, half of the United States watched the episode as it aired for the first time!
Not only did people watch the episode but they loved it. Great reviews soon began rolling in after the episode aired. To this day, many call it the greatest finale episode of all time. Do you remember watching it with your family?